Work begins on new, state of the art mental health ward in Maidstone

Date added: 13 May 2022

Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) has begun work on a new, purpose-built, inpatient facility for older adults with functional mental health needs.

The new Ruby ward building will be situated on KMPT’s Hermitage Lane site in Maidstone, relocating from its current home at Medway Maritime Hospital.

The £12.65 million investment was awarded to the local NHS as part of a national drive to eradicate ‘dormitory’ style wards in inpatient mental health facilities. It will ensure that Kent and Medway residents have access to the highest standards of inpatient mental health care, should they need it.

It will include single ensuite rooms, space for providing counselling, group therapy, creative activities and access to specially designed garden areas. Dedicated areas indoors and outside for patients and visitors feature in the new design as well as facilities to help people relearn essential skills such as cooking and cleaning.

Helen Greatorex, Chief Executive at KMPT said: “I am delighted that the last of our dormitory wards is to be replaced with a modern, state of the art facility that properly respects the privacy and dignity of our patients. People who use our services and their loved ones have a right to expect high quality care delivered in a high quality environment. Our new facility will deliver just that.

Full planning permission was granted by Maidstone Borough Council in December 2022 and the Kier Group was awarded the contract to build the new Ruby ward in February 2022. The new inpatient facility will open in July 2023.

David McKenzie, managing director at Kier Construction London, South and Strategic Projects, said: “We’re pleased to have been appointed by Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust to undertake this enriching project in Maidstone. We bring with us extensive experience and technical expertise in delivering complex healthcare facilities with a specific focus on mental health needs. This new building will provide a warm and welcoming environment which will support patients and their families, and aid in faster patient recovery.